Saturday, December 31, 2005

Shuffle Me This

Apple is having a nice little sale on refurbished 1GB shuffles, so I got myself one. Funny thing is, when they came out last year I thought, "How lame - no screen, only hold 240 songs," and now I have one. Well, the reason is: It's the PERFECT size for working out - light-weight, comes with a lanyard and you don't have to think while using it (have you tried navigating a regular iPod - wtf?!?). You can set up a play list in your iTunes and just use that to load up the shuffle - otherwise iTunes will do the thinking for you.

My friend, MacGeekette got me a Juicy Tunes skin for Xmas, and was so turned on by the shuffle that she ended up getting one too. So, now PeeCee Girl and MacGeekette have matching shuffles (awwwww). The funny thing is, after I bought mine, the 1GBs went MIA on the apple site, and then were back (and then gone again and back again - they seem to be WAY more popular than the 512mbs). So, MG was freaking out cos she wanted one too. I called her while she was getting her hair done to let her know they were back on the Apple site, and her hubby took care of ordering it for her (he's so lovely).

Inspired by the fact that we now have twin shuffles, we took a look at the shuffle boards at Wow. Nothing puts the fear of shuffle in you like reading that. "My iPod won't work" was the most common complaint. There were some truly sad/funny after Xmas posts. The problem is, the way the iPods are set up, Apple expects you to know nothing and to not care about knowing anything about how they work. Therefore, if it doesn't go smoothly, you're fcuked. Granted, there are some duds out there, but most of this could be solved if Apple provided a step by step list of how to connect your iPod for the first time. For starters - you're probably going to have to update your software - this is different from iTunes. And, since it's the first time using the iPod, you have to let it charge fully (like your cell phone) before using it. So, when you plug in the shuffle, iTunes will ask if you want to download the latest software, you say yes, it downloads and then you have to RUN it. Then, it will tell you it's ok to disconnect your iPod. Well, it's ok because the update has been done, but it's NOT ok because you're still charging it, so basically, until you see the green light on the shuffle (or the full battery icon on iPods with screens), do not disconnect until it's done charging. That's very confusing, which no doubt added to the numerous post-Xmas posts.

I don't want to bring any bad karma on myself, so I won't comment on some of the *funnier* ones, that just wouldn't be right... But, if you have some time to kill, go check out the comment boards on the apple site and you'll see what I mean. Mmm-hmm.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

At last count...

So, I looked over at my stash (which has grown leaps and bounds over the last month), and realized it looks like a yarn monster exploded. In case you don't believe me, take a look at this:

Granted, there are a couple of finished projects in there that just need ends woven in, or fringe added, but still... It's seriously out of control. Let's see how many projects I have going (knitwise, not sewwise):

1) Gedifra Tagliato shawl
2) Gedifra Tagliato mini-sweater from
3) Gedifra Cicco Gold Paris Loop from
4) Gedifra Cicco Teal Paris Loop from
(I totally scored on the Cicco off ebay - yeah! 3 balls each color, so both my Loops will be slightly shorter than the original pattern)
5) Colinette Pt 5 Capelet from Teen Knitting Club (I actually made this first as a sweater from Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple knits and frogged it cos it was HUGE, then made this capelet on size 17 needles, but it stretched out so frogged it again and trying it on 15 needles this time).
6) Astrakan scarf (to match the hat I made last week)
7) Patons Up Country bolero designed by Veronik Avery (off - lovely!)
8) Debbie Bliss Merino DK Julsey shrug (off I actually finished this, but made it about 3 inches too wide, so it does a weird baggy thing under the back of my arms. I thought about steeking it, but think it really does just need to be done properly. Ugh.
9) S. Charles Cabaret shawl
10) Rowan kidsilk mohair branching out (from
11) Tahki Stacy Charles Cotton Classic in a gorgeous teal - not sure exactly what I'll do with it, but I have a strong suspicion it will be a summer top
12) Some vintage 80's rust colored yarn that I plan to use to make a modified mini sweater from (mixed with some Rowan Yorkshire Tweed)
13) Eco forest green for an ubernaturel from
14) Eco lavendar - currently working on a ribbed scarf, but may make another shrug
15) Some gorgeous BonBon Gourment Collection to make a 70's style vest

Wow, now that I see it in print... Well, it's, um, overwhelming. Guess I better get a move on with my knitting! ;-)

C'est fini!

My. Oh. My.

I've just finished my OSW, and am thoroughly IN LOVE with it. I'm in my pjs with hair akimbo, or I'd model it, but for now, feast your eyes on this:

Kindly ignore the cat and the cat hair, Dolce's been claiming my chair as her own, and I didn't have the heart to shoo her off for the photo.

Now off to beddy-bye (yeah, right).

Edit: I didn't actually go to bed until 3am.... Gaaaarrrrrr.... So tired this morning!

Monday, December 26, 2005

It's a One Skein Wonder Obsession

I saw Glampyre's One Skein Wonder (OSW), and thought, ooh, that looks interesting. Certainly more interesting than another scarf, hat, shawl or poncho. I bought the pattern and put off starting it because it asked for stitches I hadn't done yet, and was kinda worried about. Well, I bought the Knitting Answer Book and looked it up in there, and the k1fb (knit 1 front and back) that I was so worried about turned out to be the easiest thing I'd learned since purling. Funny how we dread something until we actually do it.

So, now that I have the hang of it, I have become a bit obsessed... I started last night and had this:

After dinner, while M played with his new Guitar Hero (my present to him), I got obsessed with my OSW. I chose Noro Kujaku yarn, which is variegated, so it ends up being self striping. Anyway, I just couldn't stop and am now 5 rows from the end. Here's what it looks like now:

If I keep on this way, I'll be done with it tonight - woo hoo!

I love knitting! And all these years I thought I was just into sewing. Knitting, who knew?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

That's Amore...

After I finished my other post, I went to a news service, and saw an obit for my mentor, Argentina Brunetti. I hadn't spoken to her in quite awhile, so was very saddened by this. I drive past her old building pretty much every morning on my way to work and always think, "I should give her a call," but never did. And now, obviously, it's too late. :-(

So, I'm a kinda blue about all this.

Argentina was amazing - I met her when she was 80, living next door to my maternal grandmaother, and she was a firecracker. She was so kind to me when I was learning Italian and would always be so positive even when I made mistakes. When I wanted to study acting, she encouraged me and told me about her own mother, stage actress Mimi Aguglia, and how she was almost born on stage in Argentina (hence, the name). Every Christmas, there she was as Mrs. Martini in "It's a Wonderful Life" for the whole world to see. And she became my mentor in all things acting, writing and Italian.

Even after my grandmother moved up to Northen California, I would go see Argentina. She would tell me about her life and I was just mesmerized. She really was a true original and very much an inspiration to the modern woman's desire to *do it all.* She was a wife, mother, grandmother, actress and journalist. Really an amazing woman.

For her 90th birthday, her family threw a huge party at the Sofitel and the best part was when they pulled out a TV and played a clip from a movie she did with Dean Martin. She played his mother and he serenaded her with "That's Amore", and then the entire group of us broke into a chorus of "That's Amore and serenaded her again. She just beamed.

When I think of her, that is what I'm going to remember - her beaming while being surrounded by the people she loved and who loved her.


I was supposed to meet mom at the LYS, but ran late. Turns out, mom was running so late, she cancelled, only I never bothered to check my cell or home phone. Some days, I just don't really want to be in touch, and today was one of them. Oh, well.

I ended up just hanging out at Stitch Cafe and doing some knitting on my Gedifra Tagliato shawl, and some on my Gedifra Astrakan scarf. I finished my Gedifra Astrakan hat last night - it knit up soooooooooo fast! I actually had to undo the finishing on it and shorten it by 2 rows, but now it's absolutely perfect and I love it. I also finished the circular shrug pattern I got off The length is spot on, but I made it a little too wide (note to self - never try to measure your own shoulder width), so it bags out a little under the arms in the back. I'm really tempted to rip it out and redo it, making it 3" narrower. On the plus side, I know the size and the gauge, it'll knit up faster due to the decreased width and I'll end up with a little extra yarn when done - the better to make a matching one for my red-haired My Scene Barbie. tee hee.

So, after doing the above knitting, I asked Vash, one of the girls who work there, to help me with the gauge on the Glampyre OSW (one skein wonder) I'm about to attempt. I made perfect gauge on the 9s with the Noro Kujaku, but it was really stiff, so we tried it on the 10s, and it was much better. My gauge is off by 1/8", but since it's only 40 rows total, it shouldn't be too bad - basically mine will end up a little longer is all. The bad thing about the OSW is that there's really no room for adjusting the pattern since you make increases on every row, so you can't remove rows without making it narrower (unless your stitch width is off, which mine wasn't - only the row gauge changed when I changed needles - weird!). But it's all solved now, so I'm really looking forward to it! I'm going to learn a couple of things with this pattern: Knitting into a stitch front and back to make an increase, and picking up stitches to make the ribbing. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Anyway, here's a pic of one of my FOs this week:

Hope you like! Matching scarf coming soon :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lo Squishy

I have a friend from work whom I go hiking with every weekend. Well, we've skipped this weekend since she's been sick :-( So, I'm feeling a little squishy (which also happens to be one of her nicknames) and trying to think of ways to avoid exercising. I've just eaten breakfast at noon on a Sunday (God, I love Sundays!), so really can't exercise unless I want my stomach to cramp up during my walk. So, I figure I have about an hour or two to kill before the dreaded exercise session.

Speaking of *dreaded*, last night I finally gave M the Dreaded Knitted Object aka the DKO. See, it's supposed to *curse* a relationship if you give your boyfriend a knitted sweater before you're married. So, I wanted to make him something, but it couldn't be a sweater. To the rescue - the boyfriend scarf! I made it length-wise, using the rustic scarf pattern from last-minute knitted gifts as a guide and some sale yarn from stitch cafe and a left over ball from one of my mom's sweaters. It's possibly the most gorgeous and professional looking knitted object I've ever made. But why don't you judge for yourself?

This pic was taken before I'd woven in all the ends, so don't let that distract you...

M just called me to say he woke up at 7:20 this morning and looked over at the clock, saw the time and thought, "Best Buy opens at 8, do I want to go get on line to get an XBox 360? It's cold, oh, but I have the DKO to keep me warm!" Haha! Success!!!!!!!!! He didn't get the 360 - Best Buy only had 40 units, and M said the majority of buyers looked like they were just going to post them on Ebay. Little children everywhere will be waking up on Xmas without their XBoxes. So sad.

So I did a count of knitting projects the other day, and realized I have over 12 projects lined up. It's very daunting! Especially since I consider myself more of a sewer than a knitter. And to top it off, I frogged a poncho I'd made from Teen Knitting Club because it was pulling out of shape, so I'm going to reknit it on smaller needles (the very needles I need for two other projects... Garr - I can't knit fast enough!). M's getting used to the sight of me knit my way through lunch and dinner.

I also have a lot of sewing projects lined up and in various stages of completion. I am so looking forward to the 2 four day weekends I have coming up! First day of the first four day weekend is going to be devoted to cleaning. And I think I'll probably also dedicate the last day of the second four day weekend for the same - just because I know how I like to spread out). At least that way I can start the year off with a clean apartment :-) Whether it stays that way is a totally different story :-P

Monday, December 12, 2005

My very first...

So, I thought I would truly inaugurate this blog with the U-G-L-I-E-S-T pattern I could find. In case you don't believe me, take a look at this...

I'm utterly speechless. The pants, well they're fake wrap-around pants - you might as well ebay an original pattern from the 70s. Then, what is with the poncho? I think ponchos are totally cute, but this is just not right. Lace for a poncho? You'll get a funny tan line. And what's with the cut out shoulder thingy? This is all that is wrong with American pattern companies - it doesn't look like anything you'd buy in a shop, and isn't that why we sew? To make what's in the stores ours, but better.